International partners are responding to the parliamentary elections in Georgia.
Leading MEPs on EU-Georgia relations, including David McAllster (EPP, Germany), Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Marina Kaljurand (S&D, Estonia), Chair of the EP’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus, Sven Mikser (S&D, Estonia), The EP’s standing rapporteur on Georgia and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, Germany), EP’s lead member for democracy support activities in Georgia, released a statement on October 31 election and called for calm ahead of runoffs:
“We take note that these elections were found to be competitive and freedoms were respected overall, despite deplorable cases of pressure on voters and blurring of the line between the ruling party and the State throughout the campaign and on election day. Candidates were able to campaign freely, giving voters a genuine choice between a variety of platforms. The level of interest and engagement on the part of civil society actors also constitutes a positive feature of these elections. The issue of campaign financing needs to be further addressed in line with long-standing OSCE/ODIHR recommendations.
We appreciate that pragmatic solutions were found to allow quarantined and self-isolated citizens to cast their ballots in special polling stations, which was a fair compromise between democratic and public health requirements,” the MEPs went on, and also added that they “very much deplore that citizens in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia were once again deprived of their right to vote.
Today, following the first round and ahead of the second round, we call for calm. All possible appeals and complaints, substantiated with necessary details and some element of proof, should be handled in a fair, transparent and rigorous manner”, - reads the statement.
Foreign Ministry of Lithuania also released a statement, noting that election “was competitive, and, overall fundamental freedoms were respected, democratic standards were met, although there were some irregularities and incidents, which we call to investigate”. Lithuanian Foreign Ministry called on Georgian political parties and CEC to take into account the international observers’ remarks in the run-up to the second round of the elections, to make sure that “election and future results would not cast any doubts”.